The Kingdom’s renewable energy supply is expected to grow as more solar power plants are being built and new investors express interest in the sector, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Ministry spokesman Victor Jona said on Thursday that following Singapore-based energy provider Sunseap Group establishing Cambodia’s first large-scale solar farm, more investors have been showing interest in solar energy.
He said that last year the ministry signed an official agreement with SchneiTec Group, a joint venture between Cambodian and Chinese investors, to build a 60MW solar power plant in Kampong Speu province which is expected to begin operating later this year.
Jona said another solar power plant in Kampong Chhnang province is expected to begin construction this year after receiving technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“ADB has completed the feasibility study and prepared bidding documents, and is planning to open for bids next month [February],” he said.
According to Jona, many investors have approached officials about the possibility of investing in solar energy, but they are only in primary discussions and there is no official approval yet except for the three aforementioned projects.
There was a report on Thursday that the Gideon Group, a US-based global corporate and project financing specialist, is to provide funding for a $488 million solar power project in Phnom Penh.
The 135MW Kandal Solar Power Project is being developed by Inner Renewable Energy (Cambodia) Co Ltd with support from the government.
However, Jona said yesterday ministry officials have not reached an agreement with the firm. He said that in general, before reaching a deal on investment, there must first be an arrangement in place for the purchase and sale of the energy produced.
“I don’t think the firm has found a buyer and they have not had a specific study on the plant yet."
“In general, in order for a project to receive investment, there is a need for specialist studies and a signed agreement on the implementation of the project – a buying and selling agreement with Electricity du Cambodge or other buyers,” he said.